Yep…not much really happening ‘round here but I’ll go with what I got I ‘spose.
We found out just before my last post…but it was under blog embargo until she wrapped her head around it a bit more and we told the human kids…turns out that Connie needs some surgery which is scheduled for next month. She’s had diverticulitis off and on for 30something years and it’s almost always been on the left side…typically a bout every couple of years the past 5 or 6 years but had one in August when she was in the hospital a couple of days and then again late in the year. And her gastroenterologist retired so she transferred and registered as a patient with the gastro doc in the practice that’s the primary care physician for both of us…and after reviewing her records and having a first appointment with him…he wanted her to get a surgical consult since she had 2 bouts in the past few months. And the surgeon said that the standard of treatment is after 3 bouts of it they do a colon resection and take out the part that’s got the diverticuli in it…diverticulitis are little pockets in the intestine, diverticulosis is the advance of those so that they’re deeper/more likely to be a bother and then diverticulitis is when they get infected.
Anyways…after some thinking about it and doing a bunch of medical research she’s decided to go ahead with the surgery as an elective rather than waiting until it is an emergency…that’s because as an elective it’s done laparoscopically with a couple of tiny incisions via robotic surgery and if it becomes an emergency they can’t do that since at that point the abdomen needs flushing out to get rid of the infection that escapes…which means that they gut you like a fish to make that happen. So…it’s still surgery but less cutting, less bleeding, and less chance of any complications…which is a good thing. She’s going in mid next month…waiting a week after the first available opening so she can do her Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers concert beforehand…they’re doing the Vivaldi Gloria which is one of her favorites and she doesn’t to miss it. They tell her she’ll likely be in the hospital just 2 nights, then be sore and a bit limited for about 2 weeks and completely recovered after 6 weeks…at which point no more diverticulitis which she’ll definitely be happy about.
She also had her first practice with the new choir director at church…the new pastor (well, he’s been the pastor for about a year and was the administrator for a year before that so sorta new I guess)…anyways the day after New Years he summarily fired the choir director and then watched her as she packed her stuff for security purposes…she had been the director since the parish founding and that seems like a lousy way to treat a long time employee…but he’s the boss so he gets to do whatever he wants. It pissed off a lot of the choir members and somewhere between half and most of the better ones then summarily left for other parishes due to the lack of consideration given the old director and the complete lack of information about any of it given to the choir either before or afterwards. The new guy…migrated from NYC…apparently has these grandiose ideas to have a normal choir, an audition only choir, and a children’s choir…despite the fact that there are few to no children in the parish and it’s a bunch of older folks to boot.
Neil went to the first rehearsal Tuesday to see how many of the choir members actually showed up…17 or so out of the 30ish full time members and 50ish when all the seasonal members were here…and it’s now the season so that’s about all they’re going to get. Connie actually likes the type of music he wants to have (and that the pastor obviously wants) better since it’s traditional Catholic music and less of the more modern kum-ba-yah church music that’s been mostly in vogue the past few decades. The first 2 weeks without the choir it was a lot of the hymns we used to sing back in the 60s and early 70s…and she likes that a lot. He also is a lot less uptight and regimented than she thought he would be which is good…and from Neil’s perspective sitting in the back of the church he’s much more hands on this is rehearsal so leave your socializing elsewhere for the next hour than the old one was…which again she likes as it makes the rehearsal much more efficient. And it looks like there are 6 or 7 cantors instead of the 3-4 they had before (although some are seasonal so it might be worse once they all leave in a couple of months)…which makes the scheduling less concentrated due to the larger numbers.
And yesterday…the file server and main photo processing computer puked its guts up…Neil was doing an update to the latest version of the OS and something went amiss with it. He spent an hour or so on the phone with Apple trying various sorts of fixes that did not include a nuke and pave install because that’s harder…none of them worked so he erased the drive and reinstalled the OS…which means he needs to reinstall all the apps and data and such. Luckily…he’s got cloned drives and backups and macOS has an automated routine to restore all of that…it’s currently wrangling through the restoration process and things will be better in a day or so…mostly because the restore software has to sort through all the various versions of files that have been saved in the backups and there were about 4 million of them to sort through…and the backup drive is the spinning rust type rather than the solid state SSD type that are now prevalent…he’s going to get an SSD and switch at least some of the backups to it as a result of this issue. No worries though…he’s got the photo app stuff on his laptop and the images for today were done there…he’ll just export the catalog and import it into the main one later once the restoration is done.
That’s about it…but I do have a few photos for you he got out back this week…it’s mating season for the birds here in Florida so they’re all dressed in their “choose me for mating” breeding plumage finery and that’s a good thing. And our local eagle pair Harriet and M15 have hatched a pair of li’l eaglets…you can check them out at Fort Myers Eaglecam…the eaglets are about 3 weeks old so they’re already 3-4 times their size at hatching.
Snowy Egret…taken early in the morning and looking to the east across the pond so the breeding plumage is highlighted…really nice.
Great Egret…different morning and about the same place across the pond, it was a little later so not quite as much highlighting as Mr. Snowy above.
Double Crested Cormorant…they don’t get much breeding plumage but the orange color up near the head is accentuated in the mating season and the eyes seem to always be greener this time of year as well.
Here’s a really, really cropped version so you can see the orange and greener eyes a bit better…sorry ‘bout the lower image quality but this is about a 10x or 15x zoom in from the full frame and even starting with 45 megapixels out of the camera you just get fewer of them cropped in this much.
Interesting things found on the net.
Before I get into the images…lemme tellya a li’l story.
We’ve all heard…well, at least everybody Neil and Connie’s age has but I imagine that even youngins have probably heard of him too (at least the human kids up in Midlothian have so that means probably most everybody has as well)…of a cartoon character named Popeye the Sailor-man. He always has a pipe in his mount, has big arms, eats spinach before bopping opponents in a fight, and has a girlfriend named Olive Oyl.
And like most people…Neil and Connie figgered that Popeye and his cohorts on the cartoon were just figments of some cartoonist’s imagination (it started as a comic in the paper) before transitioning to the Saturday morning cartoons on TV. And that’s partially true I guess…but as Paul Harvey used to say…here’s the rest of the story.
There was this fellow named Frank “Rocky” Flegel who was born in Poland in 1968 and immigrated to a small town named Chester IL with his parents. He finished school and joined the Merchant Marine sailing ships around the globe for 20 years before retiring and returning to Chester…where a local bar named Wiebusch’s Tavern hired him as a bouncer…which means that he tossed out drunk patrons…a job he was well qualified for after 20 years or brawling as a sailor. Rocky quickly gained a reputation as not a man to be trifled with on the job and although he won the fight most of the time he suffered an eye injury which caused one of his eyes to be sort of popped out a bit. Always had his pipe in the side of his mount and talked out of the other side…and in his spare time he would regale the patrons with his tales of life on the Seven Seas…this term is a figurative description of all the known seas from ancient times…North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Arctic, Indian, North Pacific, South Pacific, and Southern (or Antarctica) seas or oceans. Or alternatively…back in the 9th century the Arabs and their near neighbors had a different seven seas…all located in or around the Indian Ocean since that was where they sailed…but I digress so lemme get back to the story.
Turns out that a young man named Elzie Crisler Segar in Chester had listened to Rocky’s tales for years as he grew up…apparently there wasn’t a nobody under 21 in the bar back then…and then the young man grew up and became an aspiring cartoonist…and decided to do a cartoon about a sailor. The only sailor he knew was Rocky…so he asked Rocky if he could name his main character after him and use his likeness…Rocky was flattered and agreed. Then when the sailor needed a wife…Elzie asked Dora Paskel who was the owner of the town grocery store…if he could model the sailor’s wife on her and the way she dressed and spoke…again she was agreeable.
So…as it turns out…Popeye the Sailor-man and his girlfriend Olive Oyl were essentially real people. Here’s a picture of Rocky from back in the day…an amazing resemblance to the character from the cartoon as anybody who’s seen one of them will agree. Elzie kept in touch with Rocky over the years and gave him a small percentage of his earnings from the strip.
Looks just like the cartoon character…don’t he? And Connie sez that the picture of Rocky above looks just like her Uncle George.
Rocky died in 1947 at the age of 79 and is buried in Chester…
And now you know…the rest of the story. Go ahead and sing along with the below…you know you wanna…
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man
I’m strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man
I’m one tough Gazookus
Which hates all Palookas
Wot ain’t on the up and square
I biffs ’em and buffs ‘em
And always out roughs ‘em
But none of ’em gets nowhere
This one seems especially true with all the old people driving around down here. As Neil says…old is a state of mind and has nothing to do with the milage on your body…and some people are just old despite being 20. When he goes out bike riding…once he gets out of the neighborhood it’s a bit more than a half mile to where the paved bike path starts so he has to ride down the shoulder. He deliberately rides opposing the traffic instead of with the traffic because that way he can keep an eye on them and bail out to the grass if they’re not paying attention while they’re texting and driving…and a good thing he does. He bailed 4 times all last year but this year he’s had to avoid morons turning into him 4 times already and it’s not even the end of January. Nobody looks before they turn…and for all 4 of them he was past the ride on the shoulder portion of the ride and was on the paved bike path separated from the road. He keeps his head on a swivel at every street crossing, driveway, and any place that cars can possibly be because…in a car/bike incident the bike and rider always come out on the worse end. And sho’ nuff…4 times this month already. Morons…well, he uses a stronger word but I try…mostly…to keep this blog kid and work friendly.
This one requires thought…